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Limit Reference Point and Population Model Review of the Southern Gulf of Saint Lawrence Sea Scallop

Regional Peer Review - Gulf Region

November 1-2, 2023

Moncton, NB

Chairperson: Amélie Rondeau


The amended Fisheries Act (2019) includes new fish stock provisions (FSP) that introduce legal obligations to identify the limit reference point (LRP) for major stocks prescribed under regulation. When a prescribed major fish stock has declined to, or below its LRP, a requirement for a rebuilding plan is triggered (FSP s 6.2), highlighting the importance of estimating stock status relative to the LRP.

The Sea Scallop (Placopecten magellanicus) in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence (sGSL, Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) Division 4T) is one of the major fish stocks subject to FSP where a LRP has not been defined due to data limitation. The Scallop fishery in sGSL is a relatively small fishery dispersed over a large area with sub-area specific management measures. Division 4T Sea Scallop was last assessed in 2018 (DFO 2019), however a status could not be determined due to a lack of a LRP.

This framework meeting will focus on the available data and methodology for estimating the population size and evaluate candidate LRPs that comply with the Precautionary Approach principle for subsequent stock assessment of the Sea Scallop in the sGSL.


The overall purpose of this process is to evaluate candidate LRPs and establish the point at which serious harm to the stock would occur. The LRP could then be used to assess status and provide management advice that comply with the principle of the Precautionary Approach for sGSL Scallop stock.

To accomplish this, the data inputs, indices, and the modelling framework need to be updated. Firstly, available data particularly the commercial fishery statistics (landings, effort) and their statistical treatment will be considered. Secondly, a suite of data limited models will be evaluated for their potential as assessment models and used to determine the LRP.

Expected Publications

Expected Participation



Participation to CSAS peer review meetings is by invitation only.

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